“‘Why did you volunteer?’ is a question I get asked all the time,” reveals Assoc Prof Ian Yeo. He stepped forward to be deployed in the national effort to combat the COVID-19 virus, and is the senior doctor of one of the medical teams stationed at Singapore EXPO, which has been converted into a Community Care Facility.
“I was inspired to see so many frontline healthcare workers risk their lives caring for COVID-19 cases while I was in the relative safety of working in SNEC,” Assoc Prof Yeo shares. He thus decided to chip in at the frontline. “More hands make light work for all,” he remarks.
Assoc Prof Yeo says there is great camaraderie among the healthcare workers —including many SNEC colleagues — at EXPO. “Although we all come from different medical disciplines and seniority, there is no hierarchy as we work, with everyone watching out for each other,” he describes. “I am humbled by the teamwork and help given to me, having been away from primary care for such a long time.”
This kind of support is surely a blessing for the work at EXPO, including 12-hour shifts and the need to wear full PPE. “It’s like taking a sauna daily,” Assoc Prof Yeo says. “That’s why we limit staff to wear full PPE for no more than two hours at a time to prevent dehydration and fatigue.” His team’s role is to monitor the health of all residents at the CCF, manage new symptoms and existing chronic conditions, and send those who have worsening symptoms back to the hospitals for further clinical management and support.
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